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Biden invites China and Russia to climate talks

President Joe Biden is seeking to hold a climate conference which will be digitally attended on the 22nd and 23rd of April, so far, 40 invitations have been given to world leaders, climate activists and others, but two of which, belong to China and Russia.


The rollout of this climate summit shows the current American governments education to cut down on its emissions as in 2019, America was the second-largest polluter with a worldwide share of 14.5%.


Additionally, the Biden administration has announced a $2tn investment that aims to help the US become a net-zero emission economy by 2050 by building clean energy.


The goal is an ambitious one, especially after the setback the nation experienced during the Trump administration where America’s coal industry was revived by the past presidency.


Nevertheless, due to the USA’s large scale of carbon-emissions, the decision is a welcome one as a reduction in America’s emissions will significantly slow climate change down and may also lead by example to the other superpowers of the world, China and Russia, perhaps incentivising for them to also cut emissions.


Despite their invite, will China, the worlds largest polluter, agree to the terms which will be presented within the summit?


Well, there a few reasons for why they might and why they won’t. One reason why they wouldn’t accept these terms as any “tax” on carbon emissions or policies will raise the barriers for entry when it comes to growth.


Hence, it is likely that China, would not wish to undermine their growth for improving carbon-emissions, especially when they have such ambitious plans such as the “Belt and Road initiative.”


But we can’t expect China to agree to these terms, after all, when nations such as the UK and the US were developing and going through the same stages of industrialization as China is, they didn’t have any regulations on carbon emissions.


And that’s mainly because we simply didn’t know enough about the dangers of burning fossil fuels at such large quantities may have on the planet and its residence, but now that we do, we find it fitting for developed nations to take the responsibility to cut these emissions.


But is it fair for these policies to be imposed on China? A country that is experiencing a similar stage of growth which the UK did during its industrial revolution, perhaps now that we know the dangers of carbon emissions it is, but that is a debate which we won’t be covering in this article.


However, there is also a reason why China would accept these terms.


The air-quality within Beijing is the poorest in the world, and this is a problem for the Chinese economy.


China is no longer a labour-intensive nation, it has industrialised, making it a capital intensive economy.


Machines need engineers to run, as well as other professions to think of and create, consequently, due to China’s development, Chinese consumers are seeing rising incomes.


Because of these rising incomes, consumers want new luxuries and better living standards, so, improving public health likely is one of the top priorities of the CCP.


So, an improvement in air-quality wouldn’t be a benevolent act which the Chinese authorities have so graciously bestowed upon their citizens, the improvement would be for an economic reason, which is better public health.


Bettering public health has clear benefits associated with it, such as less pressure on health services as households have fewer health issues, additionally, the Chinese economy may see an increase in output per person as they are no longer taking time off work due to health issues.


A harder-working or better-educated and healthier workforce attracts Foreign Direct Investment, thus further aiding China’s expansion.


So, overall, there are reasons for and against China’s participation in the summit, despite this, one thing is clear, and that is that even without China, a reduction in emissions from the worlds second-largest polluter, the USA, is a welcome decision.

 

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